The Life and Times of John Birks Gillespie
By Donald L. Maggin
(HarperCollins Publishers, Paperback, 9780060559212, 422pp.)
Publication Date: March 2006
List Price: $15.99*
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Dizzy Gillespie secured his place in the jazz pantheon as one of the most expressive and virtuosic improvisers in the history of music. More important is that he was one of its great innovators. As a primary creator of the bebop and Afro-Cuban revolutions, he twice changed the way improvisation was fundamentally done. And by combining electrifying musicianship, infectious warmth, and rare comedic skills, he achieved a worldwide popularity few jazz musicians have ever enjoyed.
This is the enthralling saga of Dizzy Gillespie -- a chronicle of the rise of a jazz genius from the lowest rung of the social order to the highest pinnacle of respect and ability that brings Harlem's golden after-hours era, the raucous 52nd Street scene, of the forties, the barrios of Havana and Rio, the White House, and the world's great concert halls to glorious life.